Hello all, I am back with the second and final part of my solo birthday trip to Berlin, Germany series showcasing what I got up to as well highlighting what Berlin sites are covered by the Berlin Welcome Card!
Tuesday 15th February
The day was due to be jam-packed with visiting various museums, therefore, I had quite an early start at around 10 am. This also involved a 30/45 minute journey on the S-Bahn so I made sure to eat as much breakfast as I could before heading out. It is worth a mention that you can save some cash by purchasing a day Museum Island ticket which grants you entry to all the museums/galleries on Museum Island.
Berlin Olympic Stadium (Berlin Olympic Stadium included in the Berlin Welcome Card)
My first stop for the day was the Berlin Olympic Stadium located within the Olympiapark Berlin. I must warn you in advance that the grounds are absolutely massive so be prepared for that if you intend to see every inch of it. It was nice to see the various parts where various sports are held such as the Swimming Stadium and the main Olympic Stadium for the athletics. There are several monuments that showcase the history of the Olympic Games such as the previous countries that have had the honour of hosting them including Germany which hosted the infamous 1936 Olympics. Today, the stadium is the home ground for Hertha BSC Berlin as well as the location used today for the DFB-Pokal German Cup (for my Bundesliga fans). Lastly, I briefly took a walk through the Olympic Village and the path starts just outside the main entrance to the stadium. The walkway path takes you all around the main stadium dome to the other side where the Bell Tower is. I had to admit defeat and not finish walking the entire grounds due to my packed schedule but I would love to come back and complete the full tour on a summer’s day.
I took the S-Bahn back down to Museum Island to finally visit the museums. The first stop on Museum Island was the Altes Museum (The Old Museum). The museum spans two floors and houses both the Collection of Classical Antiques and the Numismatic Collection showcasing classic antiques from Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Etruscan era. Aside from showcasing antiques like the Drinking Cup of the Potter Sosisas, there was also a variety of sculptures and statuettes of prominent figures from those eras such as Caesar and Cleopatra. The most breathtaking aspect of the Altes Museum for me was the Rotunda, a circular open space within the centre of the museum that is comprised of various statuettes of Greek and Roman Gods as well red and gold ornamental cassettes of the zodiac signs towards the cupola of the museum. The thing that takes this space up a notch is that sunlight is able to come through the cupola/ceiling which brightens up the atmosphere. This space can be accessed from both floors of the museum so I recommend you take a look before leaving.
The next stop was the Neues Museum (the New Museum) which is literally just around the corner from the Altes Museum. The museum spans four floors that showcase artefacts from various eras including the Ancient Egyptian, the Bronze Age, the Stone Age and Ancient Roman times. The variety of artefacts was amazing and honestly, there was so much to take in. There were some must-see highlights to visit which include the stunning bust of Nefertiti! Photography of this bust was specifically prohibited so be prepared for that but having said that, it was pretty memorable to take in. Now there is a slight crossover with the Altes Museum due to both museums housing the Collection of Classical Antiques however each museum is unique in its own right and worth a visit regardless. Also, if you are interested in visiting the James-Simon Galerie you are able to access it from Floor 0.
I made my way to the Pergamon Museum which I anticipated will take a while to go through due to its vast collection. However, since the museum span two floors, I was able to get through the museum with some time to spare. Despite there only being two floors, the quality and the size of the curated collections on display was top-notch; I was in awe and mind blown by the art of architecture and artefacts. In addition to housing the Collection of Classical Antiques, the Museum is renowned for housing the both the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum for Islamic Art. Some of the must-see highlights of this Museum include the marble monument Market Gate of Miletus from Ancient Rome and the blue and gold Ishtar Gate of Babylon from the Ancient Near East (present-day Iraq). The Pergamon Museum is currently undergoing refurbishment hence why only a small portion of the museum was open but there is the Pergamon Museum Panorama located in a temporary building opposite the Bode Museum where you are able to see highlights of the museum. After going through the museum I was extremely hungry and had time before my next stop so I decided to grab a bit to eat at the museum cafe Cu29.
My last stop for the day was the Bode Museum, which I must say the inside is just as stunning as the outside. The architecture of the building alone grabbed my attention and was worthy of a photo opp. The dome-shaped museum spans three floors however, I only visited two of these floors. The museum houses The Sculpture Collection, Numismatic Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Arts along with showcasing a plethora of European sculptures and paintings (including some from Germany). The museum provided a different vibe from the previous three museums and I was particularly drawn to both the Roman Catholic and Gothic-inspired sculptures and art which there was a generous handful of these throughout the whole museum. I was also lucky to come across an individual who was restoring a painting as well as engage in a chat with a lovely security guard about the art on show. Similar to the Altes Museum, there was a huge circular space (the Great Dome) that was accessible on all three floors that were connected by a beautiful marble staircase along with statuettes.
By the time I finished the sun had set and the moon was in full bloom and looked gorgeous along the River Spree. I decided to walk to the nearest metro station to make my way back to my hotel to rest after a long day of sightseeing. After an outfit and makeup change, I made my way to have dinner at Restaurant 1840. I was very much eager to finally try schnitzel and my goodness the portion was absolutely massive! The plate was packed and I was just about able to finish a majority of the plate which wasn’t helped by the additional raspberry Berliner Weisse. The waiter was so so nice and attentive which was nice to experience as a solo traveller. I would absolutely recommend any travellers to visit this restaurant for a bite to eat. It was a struggle to get up but I had to get up in order for me to get back to my hotel to start the packing process.
Wednesday 16th February
I checked out early so I could leave my belongings safely at the hotel reception before setting off exploring on my final day in Germany. Similar to the previous day, I had another early start a compiled with a 30/45 minute journey so I took full advantage of breakfast before setting off for the first stop of the day.
Charlottenburg Palace (Charlottenburg Palace included in the Berlin Welcome Card)
The Charlottenburg Palace is one of the many palace grounds to visit in Berlin. The palace dates back to the 17th century and was built as the home for Sophie Charlotte, the Queen Consort of Prussia (a majority is now present-day Germany). The palace is infamous for its baroque and rococo interior design. I would suggest that you get a charlottenburg+ ticket that way you are able to view both the New Wing and the Old Wing of the palace. I made sure to use an audio guide that was very handy and informative as it went into extensive detail about every single room and corridor the tour entails. The most breathtaking room for me was the Goldene Galerie Ballroom in the New Wing. The Golden Gallerie Ballroom was a rococo style pale green and gold ballroom with a light pink ceiling that was very spacious topped off with an eye-catching golden chandelier. Due to the rain, I decided not to visit the Palace Gardens which I am sure would have been a blast to visit if the sun was out.
The rain was really pouring down in Germany but nonetheless, I made my way to what I thought would be my next stop the Anne Frank Museum Centre (they have one branch in Germany and the main branch in the Netherlands). I ended up not visiting this attraction because they only accept cash payments and I was primarily using my card throughout my trip. Therefore, I took this as an opportunity to visit the next stop on my list but I was able to see remnants of the Berlin Wall near Postdamer Platz station along the way which was a huge bonus for me!
The Gemäldegalerie is located within the Kulturforum building which also houses the Art Library, Museum of Decorative Arts, Museum of Prints and Drawings, and the New National Gallery. The Gemäldegalerie collections spanned one floor in the gallery space of the Kulturforum dedicated to European paintings from the 13th century up until around the 19th century (including some from Germany). Similar to the Bode Museum, I was particularly drawn to the Roman Catholic-inspired paintings and the many interpretations of the Virgin Mary. However, I was also intrigued by some of the portraits and was in awe of how the artists captured every possible detail of the subjects. I really did take my time to ensure I see all the available open rooms within the collection before heading off to the next stop.
I was hungry at this point so along the way back to Postdamer Platz station, I stopped by the Tobias Machost food stand to eat some currywurst, and fries along with a cold bottle of beer! Eating currywurst was truly one of the huge highlights of this solo trip and I don’t think I will ever opt to eat it anywhere away from Germany.
Red Town Hall and East Side Gallery
At this point, I made my way to the Zeiss Planetarium however, due to time restrictions of the programme on offer, I opted to make my way to see some landmarks closer to my hotel. I was able to squeeze in seeing the Red Town Hall and also see some more remnants of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery for my photo mementoes. I think the murals of the East Side Gallery were a great way to preserve the history of the Berlin Wall whilst allowing talented artists to showcase their work. Visiting landmarks was a nice way to chill and relax before my way back to the hotel to draw my Germany holiday to a close.
Overall, I am so so glad that I can finally cross off Berlin from my bucket list! I would love to come back to visit some of the attractions such as the Gardens of the World and The Berlin Zoo that I wasn’t able to squeeze into this trip. The Berlin Welcome Card is beneficial in terms of free public transport across the city and surrounding areas like Postdam. In terms of some of the attractions I visited, Visit Berlin also offers the option of the Welcome Card + Museum Island and the Welcome Card Inclusive this costs a bit more but grants you free entry to some attractions). I will also revel in consuming more currywurst and the raspberry Berliner Weisse beer whenever I next return. Berlin to me was similar to London in terms of prices so this may be helpful when budgeting for your trip albeit a day trip or a longer break. Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to Visit Berlin for contributing to my birthday experience in Germany with your pass!
Until my next adventure,
*Disclaimer: This post contains a product/service I was gifted with. All views are my own*